Earphone Bully a winner: Audio

An ad for anti-bullying organisations, called Earphone Bully, has won the single, craft and overall categories in round two of the 2013 Siren Awards.

The ad was written by Marianne Harvey, Cristian Staal, Ralphie Barnett from ad agency SapientNitro in Brisbane and Ralph van Dijk from Eardrum in Sydney for organisations including Bullying No Way, Project Rockit and Reach Out.

Previous winner and judge, Tommy Cehak from agency, JayGrey in Sydney, said about the winning ad: “Earphone Bully was the clear winner for Sirens Rd 2. A haunting and disturbing entry that’s expertly crafted and uses the radio medium in an innovative way.”

The ad, which needs to be listened to with earphones, puts the listener in the shoes of a silent victim. This creates a powerful roleplay tool to prepare kids for schoolyard bullies and importantly, gives them ways to speak up about it. Earphone Bully can be customised by any anti-bully organisations to add local support details. It can also be personalised when passing onto friends, with the Earphone Bully knowing nearly 600 names.

Winning writer, Marianne Harvey said: “One in two Australian children are being bullied, so as a group of parents, we wanted to do something about it. Because earphones are welded to kids’ heads, we saw digital radio as a way to get their attention. By using 3D sound technology, we virtually put a bully in their heads. This prepared kids for bullies and built empathy in others.

“In addition to using the full binaural impact of 3D sound, we used digital radio to seamlessly lead people to the complete digital experience. They were able to go straight to our website for ways to speak up against bullies. We also realised that in the digital age you can assist many, instead of assisting just one. So rather than help just one organisation, we created an online audio experience that can be customised by any anti-bully group in the world. It’s a different way of thinking and part of what we believe makes this project breakthrough.”


Two ads were highly commended in the single category. One was an ad for the Transport Accident Commission called GPS, written by Sharon Condy and Josh Murrell from agency Grey Melbourne. The second highly commended was an ad for Golden Eggs called Gay Toast Soldiers written by Alida Henson and Matt Dickson from radio network Southern Cross Austereo, Perth.

Winner of the campaign category was three ads for VLine called Facebook, On Exchange and The Set, written by Natasha Wood, Tristan Graham and Matt Stoddart, from agency McCann in Melbourne.

Highly commended in the campaign category was an ad for  H&R Block called Fluent in tax written by Tim Chenery and David Roberts from agency Us Sydney.

Two ads were highly commended in the craft category: an ad for V8 Supercars Team Vodafone called Courtesy Driver produced by sound engineer Mike Lange from production studio, Cutting Edge, and, an ad for Commercial Radio Australia called Ear App produced by sound engineers Ralph van Dijk from Eardrum in Sydney and Paul Taylor from Sound Reservoir.